51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
A Novel that will have you Walking around in a Daze,
This review is from: Of Love and Other Demons (Paperback)
I can never get used to Márquez. More than anyone else he is the master storyteller, the voice of a melancholy raconteur whose aphorisms reverberate in your head and deny you sleep; but you never begrudge him this. He manages to condense the substance of entire novels into a single understated sentence. His words are alive and wriggle under your skin.
Of Love and Other Demons is one of the twentieth century’s great works. A relation of the events surrounding Sierva María de Todos los Angeles, the daughter of a Marquis raised by black slaves, it captures the miasmatic superstition of the eighteenth-century perfectly, as rabies becomes confused with satanic possession, love with sinful temptation, and rationality with madness. Much like Romeo and Juliet, you quickly forget the age of the lovers at the centre of the novel – Sierva María is twelve; Cayetano Delaura thirty-six. Like Shakespeare’s play there is nothing immoral about this relationship, but it retains the same tragic potential: the virgin daughter of a Marquis possessed by demons in a mutual infatuation with the Bishop’s favourite, an erudite priest soon to take a position in the Vatican. It is doomed from the start, as almost everything in the story is – but much like he did in Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Márquez proceeds to build excitement from inevitability, never needing to throw in a twist to keep the reader entranced, as lesser authors might. In particular he is exceptional at describing a world tinted through the vision of love, making everything richer, more sensuous. He is, for me, the greatest author alive today. Read him.